Merry Christmas, 2008

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Despite the disappointment at not getting to celebrate Christmas Eve with my family last night, this Christmas just might go down as one of my favorite Christmases. The snow storm simplified the past two weeks, making this Christmas more about staying cozy and warm, bundling up for walks in the snow, and spending lots of time at home with Landon and the kids. I'll never forget the late-night walks in the snow, sledding with Samuel at Custer Park, walking to Fred Meyer for days in a row for groceries and supplies, and asking our neighbor for a ride to get Christmas dinner. "Arctic Blast 2008" is a storm I won't soon forget, and made this a Christmas to remember.

Sam was so excited to open presents Christmas morning, so as soon as Grandma and Grandpa Kuhn arrived, the present opening began. He was actually peeling paper back in anticipation before they got there, which led to guessing what his first present was--silly Samuel! He wanted to help everyone open their presents, and spilled the beans about this gift from Landon before I even opened it. He wanted to tell me that he helped pick the earrings out, and that he didn't pick gold, because gold is for pirates.

The gift that had Sam transfixed in a corner for the rest of Christmas Day was WALL-E, an automated, dancing robot that isn't quite what I thought it would be (you can plug in your ipod to it and it dances to the beat), but he loves it. It's one of two things he wanted for Christmas. He didn't play with anything else all day--he just kept pushing buttons on that thing to make it talk and play music. It was the only noise-maker he received, thank goodness!

The handmade logging truck from Etsy is on the back burner for now. WALL-E is Sam's top priority.

The other gift Sam asked for was trees so his predators had a place to hide in wait for their prey. I got wooden trees from Spielwerk, and so far, Sam has played with them very little in between playing with WALL-E, but eventually, I think he'll have a lot of fun with these. The wooden pieces fit inside each other, so he can take them apart if he wants to, using his imagination to create whatever forest setting he wants to.

Did I mention that Juniper slept through the opening of gifts? Well, she did, but she woke up happy, and with a head of hair going in every direction. I had a seamstress make her a beautiful little Christmas dress, but she screamed and pulled at it until I took it off, probably because she's not walking yet, and cannot crawl easily with a dress on. She also refuses to let me do anything with her hair and rips out any barrettes, ribbons, or headbands that I put on her. Hmmm, maybe this will pass as she gets a little older. For now, this is how Miss Juni looked on her second Christmas.

Juniper received drums for Christmas, because she loves musical instruments, and her favorite one of all are the drums she uses at Sound Roots Music. Juniper has always been interested in Landon's music, and whenever I play music at home, she dances and moves to the beat.

Meanwhile, I spent a fair amount of time preparing Christmas dinner. I roasted the turkey at 500 degrees before turning the heat down to 300 degrees for a few hours. Unfortunately, the turkey at first overlapped the roasting pan by accident, and some of the drippings caused the kitchen to smoke up pretty good when they fell on the heating elements (can you see the smoke in the picture?), setting our smoke alarms off. Not wanting to be the source for entertainment in the kitchen EVERY year, I got things quickly under control.

The table was set using Landon's grandmother's china that was passed along to me a few years ago. She obtained the china by trading cigarettes during WWII. I love the set--they are a festive gold and red, but they are very old, so we are careful with them.

I've never met a kid that doesn't like eating olives from their fingers.

Despite the smoky start, the turkey turned out just right. It was brined in an apple/water/sugar/kosher salt solution for 18 hours, then rubbed down with a butter mixture consisting of thyme, white pepper, and salt. To add flavor, the turkey was stuffed with aromatics (lemon zest, celery and carrot sticks, an apple wedge, and fresh rosemary and sage--it was tasty!

Landon and I received utilitarian gifts from his parents--3 fire extinguishers for each floor of our house. We actually already had one, so we'll take a couple of them back, but since we had so many, we decided we'd light a fire, even though our Christmas tree was dry and brittle. There's always the risk of a stray spark setting the tree on fire, so we had the fire extinguishers handy. It was so nice to have the fire on Christmas evening.

Later in the evening, Landon pulled out his guitar and most everyone joined in and sang a few songs. I can't say I was one of them! I just can't bring myself to join in to Cash's "Ring of Fire." It was nice to hear the music, though, and everyone had a great time. Even though Landon's parents and our friend Gay had to walk in from the main road, they stayed until late. It was an afternoon and evening full of good food, conversation, tasty alcoholic beverages, music, fun with Sam and Juniper (and WALL-E), and, of course, lots of snow! This will certainly be a Christmas I will always remember--after all, if it wasn't for my neighbor, I WAS going to walk to Lake Oswego and pull our turkey back on a sled. Yes, I definitely will always remember Christmas, 2008.


Anonymous said...

Karli--I LOVE that top picture of you and Landon. I think that's the best picture I've seen of the two of you. I just love you both have your arms wrapped around each other so nice and you both look so relaxed and happy. It doesn't look like a posed photo, just a photo of a couple young'ins in love. That's one for you to frame!! --Stefanie

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